Questions emerge following D.L. Hughley collapse and bout with COVID-19

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Zanies Comedy Night Club in Nashville is closing temporarily after actor-comedian D.L. Hughley collapsed on stage Friday night.

In an Instagram post on Saturday evening, Hughley said he was being released from Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital after being treated for extreme exhaustion and dehydration. Hughley also confirmed that he tested positive for COVID-19, but is asymptomatic.

“I didn’t have flu-like symptoms, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, I didn’t have a cough, I didn’t have a low grade fever, I didn’t have loss of smell or taste, I apparently just lost consciousness,” Hughley said.

But what does loss of consciousness have to do with COVID-19?

News 2 went to the experts.

“He himself was not symptomatic, which means he wouldn’t be shedding as much virus as someone whose symptomatic with COVID-19, said David Aronoff, M.D. Director, Division of Infectious Diseases VUMC.​ “Getting infected from any one individual  person depends a little on how close you are to them and how prolonged period of time that is, whether or not they’re symptomatic, coughing and sneezing or breathing right in your face or how much distance there is between you and that person who is infected​.”

Dr. Aronoff added that dehydration could be one reason someone with COVID-19 could get light-headed, faint or pass out like Hughley.

“If we happen to be sick and have a sight increase in our body temp we may not even recognize our insensible losses go up, we breath faster because our heart rate is going faster, we sweat a little bit more we also evaporate more water from the service of our skin so being sick with a low grade fever we don’t recognize can drive dehydration,” Dr. Aronoff said.

In addition, Dr. Aronoff said he’s seen people with COVID-119 who have low blood pressure and appear to be dehydrated from possibly having a high fever, but he says passing out by itself is not a common symptom or sign of COVID-19.

Dr. Michael Caldwell spoke at Mayor John Cooper’s press briefing Monday, “I’ve been in contact with management at Zanies over the weekend and we are assured all employees and guests who were at any of the shows on Thursday and Friday have been informed and our recommendation is that they go seek testing, we will put this in as our normal contact tracing work,” he stated. ​

Zanies posted to their Facebook page on Sunday making the announcement:

To all Zanies patrons and performers: We have received notification that D.L. Hughley, who performed at Zanies on Thursday and Friday, June 18-19, has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, Zanies has closed and will only reopen after a comprehensive cleaning process conducted by a specialist. Zanies will continue to follow Metro Nashville Health Department reopening phase guidelines. We encourage any of our patrons who may feel some risk of exposure to contact the Metro Health at . Zanies wishes its friend D.L. a quick recovery and a return to the stage

Zanies Nashville

Hughley said he plans to quarantine for 14 days in his Nashville hotel room.

Zanies provided an updated statement to News 2 on Monday afternoon:

Zanies Nashville is relieved to know that our good friend D.L. Hughley is recovering and feeling better every day. Along with many area fans, we look forward to welcoming D.L. back to Nashville and having more evenings of laughs. We will have no further comment on D.L.’s situation and more appropriately refer you to his recent comments that are available on Twitter @RealDLHughley

For your safety and ours, Zanies Nashville follows all requirements established by the Metro Nashville Health Department COVID-19 business reopening plan. These include:

• Zanies’ staff will have temperatures checked before starting work

• Our team will wear masks while engaging the public

• Capacity and distancing are enforced, and standing in the bar is prohibited

• Hand sanitizer is available and encouraged for your use

• Zanies Nashville is thoroughly cleaned between shows

Zanies Nashville

This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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